Episode 134: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Community Conversation on Domestic Abuse and the Church


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By Teri Yuan. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This year, in recognition of DVAM, the Engendered Collective hosted a series of community conversations to bring greater awareness to domestic abuse and gender-based violence. Today’s conversation deals with the intersection of domestic abuse and the Church. Our guests included Debra Wingfield and Julie Owens.

Debra Wingfield, Ed.D. is an Author, Speaker, and Trainer with 46 years of combined experience working with abuse across the lifespan. She counseled children and adults who experienced family violence, abuse, and child maltreatment for over 25 years. She educates and trains professionals across multiple disciplines-mental health, advocates, attorneys, and court professionals on the impacts of coercive control, domestic abuse, and family violence. A former faculty member in psychology and counseling at Regis University and the University of Southern Colorado. The author of healing from abuse books for adults and children include Eyes Wide Open: Help! with Control Freak Co-Parents, From Darkness to Light: Your Inner Journey, and Through a Child’s Voice: Transformational Journaling.

Julie Owens is a survivor of domestic violence who has worked in the field of violence against women and women's empowerment since 1989. She has founded a hospital DV crisis response team, a transitional shelter, advocacy groups and training programs. She has worked with trauma survivors and addicted survivors, and was a research co-investigator, project director and trauma therapist on studies at the National Center for PTSD. Julie trains professionals widely and has served as an expert witness in both criminal and civil cases regarding domestic violence and domestic violence-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She was a Site Coordinator for the Lily Endowment-funded RAVE project (Religion And Violence E-learning) during its five years of initial development. Her extensive work with the State of N.C. Department of Administration, N.C. Council for Women, involved oversight of numerous domestic violence, sexual assault and economic empowerment grant programs. She monitored grants, developed grant guidelines, trained non-profit boards, consulted and trained about best practices for working with victims and survivors, built collaborative initiatives and partnered with professionals in many disciplines.

During our conversation, Debra, Julie, and I touched upon the following resources:

  • Jess Hill's book, See What You Made Me Do
  • Reverend Marie Fortune's Keeping the Faith
  • Spiritual and Religious Abuse Wheel
  • How the Bible verses are being misinterpreted by some to defend or justify violence against women and/or gender inequality
  • Riane Eisler's The Chalice and the Blade
  • Julie's packet of Christian domestic violence resources
  • Debra's book, Eyes Wide Open: Help With Control Freak Co-Parents
  • Debra's book, Through a Child's Voice
  • Debra's book, From Darkness to Light: Your Inner Journey
  • Teri's suggestions for leaders in the Religious Left including John Pavlovitz and Rabbi Rachel Timoner
  • First Corinthians 13 from the Bible, which gives the definition of love


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